We saved the best for last - our Meeting on December 19th

Yes, it was a festive event, and made more so by the many spouses who were there.  PP ERIC LOBERG started us off with the Pledge, and contrary to expectations, he played it straight. PP STEVE DAY and PP JIM DOWNIE combined for the song - this after some momentary uncertainty brought about by PP STEVE first announcing that, in honor of the Christmas season, we would do The Battle Hymn of the Republic. We compromised with Jingle Bells, which went well - and Prexy TED christened this combo the DOWNIE and DAY show! DAVE MATSON came forward with the Invocation, with the theme "I believe in Santa Claus - do you?" He reminded us that Santa gives, without expecting anything in return - and that is something to really be admired.

HARLAN LEWIS couldn't locate any Visiting Rotarians, but we did have some guests.  New member CHARLES MAGNUSON introduced his wife, Carole - noting that she has been a Westwood resident since 1962, serving on the Westwood Village Design Review Board and on the staff at UCLA. RUDY ALVAREZ brought along one of our outgoing Ambassadorial Scholars, Nina Garush, who will be studying in France next year. Also, YOE witnessed Nina distributing those interesting Christmas candy boxes at every plate - thank you, Nina. STU GILMAN had two Special Guests - Ed Gald, a local resident, and Steve Lohr, who is a contractor in Brentwood. Joy and I had as our guest Fiona Connor - her dad is a Rotarian in Perth, Australia, and Fiona is currently working in London, but visiting us over the holidays. There was a round of applause for all the visiting spouses - and they do brighten up the place, for sure!

PP JOHN SINGLETON is finally out of Century City Hospital, and will be taking it easy in Carlsbad for a few days - he had a bout with a stubborn infection, but doing OK now.  PP HOWARD SISKEL is also home, from St. Johns. The tube they inserted to drain the cavity around his lung has been removed, but he will also be staying close to home at this busy time of the year. MIKE YOUSEM reported briefly on the Holiday Shopping Trip last Thursday - they had 25 kids, all with our member-sponsors, and it was a rewarding evening for all concerned. MIKE thanked ANN SAMSON, Director of the Westside Family YMCA, for coordinating this event - the kids chosen were really special. And for those of you who didn't sign up in time this year - be early in 2003!

PDG BILL GOODWYN came forward, and began with a good joke about the Protestant who moved into a heavily Catholic neighborhood. He joined them, but had trouble giving up red meat on Fridays - solving the problem by 'christening' his BBQ steaks and reminding them of their true heritage, as they became fish! PDG BILL went on to point out how really special the coming visit of Rotary International President Bhichai to WVRC on January 23rd will be - this is a man who, literally, hobnobs with Heads of State - and yet he has found time to be our guest not only for that evening, but for the next day as well. Prexy TED spent a lot of political capital with his many friends in Asia in arranging this visit - and we want to support him in every way. A present list of those who have signed up to attend, includes (member's names only, OK?) RUDY ALVAREZ, PDG ANDY ANDERSON, MARK BLOCK, Century City table for 10, PP JIM COLLINS, GEORGE COX, PP STEVE DAY, PP GEORGE DEA, new member JOE DeROBBIO, FLOYD DEWHIRST, PP JIM DOWNIE, PP CHRIS GAYNOR, PDG BILL GOODWYN, BRUCE HARRIS, JACK HARRIS, Prexy TED, LILLIAN KLIEWER, HARLAN LEWIS, MAX LICHTENBERGER, PP ERIC LOBERG (and there is no truth to the rumor that he has been guaranteed to be allowed to lead the Pledge…), PP RON LYSTER, ELEANOR MORE, CFO DON NELSON, PP HOMER NEWMAN, SALLY PHILLIPS, DICK ROBINSON, BRUCE ROLF, KACY ROZELLE, Santa Monica table for 10, RO SHAW, HOWARD SISKEL, HENRY TSENG, SLOSS VIAU, PP BOB WESSLING (who tends to confuse the Committee by referring to our coming guest as "The Thai Guy", TERRY R. WHITE, PP ERNIE WOLFE, PP RALPH WOODWORTH, and RAY ZICKFELD.  That totals over EIGHTY signed up so far - and if your name isn't listed, It Should Be!  Send in your checks, please - reservations must be paid in advance.

PP STEVE DAY, wearing his Foundation hat, then spoke about Paul Harris Fellows, and how the money donated goes to fund the many Rotary programs that help others. He also reminded us that he had been appointed to this Chairmanship by none other than our beloved PP DOUG DESCH. STEVE then introduced Mary Jane BLEAK (note, pronounced BLAKE) as our newest Paul Harris Fellow, as funded by her husband, CLAWSON BLEAK. PP STEVE concluded the presentation by reminding us all that support of the Paul Harris Fellowship program is an investment in the ideals of Rotary. STEVE then noted that PP MIKE NEWMAN planned to present a Paul Harris Fellowship to his wife, Angele, but she was unable to attend due to work schedule conflicts. PP MIKE then announced that this was his FIFTH Paul Harris contribution. This appeared to be grounds for a fine, but nothing was definitely settled. Stay tuned.

Our own Red Nosed Reindeer, RUDY ALVAREZ announced our program - the MERRY CARROLERS, a quartet who had some lovely harmony in singing a number of familiar Christmas songs. One of them was not only 6'7" tall, but wore a top hat, to boot.  Everyone enjoyed them - and some of us started sampling those small boxes of Christmas candy distributed earlier by RUDY and his guest, Nina. RUDY, you did another good job, and we thank you for the many things you do for WVRC.

Remember, we are dark the next two Thursdays, and will resume on January 9th, 2003!

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

YOE, Ernie Wolfe